Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found Paperback – 1 Aug 2013
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I love this book. I want to shout it from the mountaintop. --Oprah Winfrey
Angry, brave, sad, self-knowing, redemptive, raw, compelling, and brilliantly written... It is destined to be loved by a lot of people, men and women, for a very long time --Nick Hornby, The Believer
Epic and moving --Sunday Times
Funny and fierce --Independent on Sunday
Amazing and inspiring --Nicole Kidman
Extraordinary... Truly wild: dirty, beautiful, serene --Sunday Telegraph
It's not very manly, the topic of weeping while reading... Wild pretty much obliterated me --Scotsman
A deeply honest memoir about mother and daughter, solitude and courage, and regaining footing, one step at a time. --Vogue
About the Author
Cheryl Strayed is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Torch, the huge New York Times-bestselling memoir Wild and the collection of essays Tiny Beautiful Things: Advice on Love and Life from Someone Who's Been There. Her work has appeared in numerous magazines and journals, including The New York Times Magazine, The Washington Post Magazine, Allure and The Rumpus. She lives in Portland, Oregon.
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Top Customer Reviews
This isn't one you are going to laugh about, it's not one with witty lines or even a lot in the way of plot. But it's not that sort of book - it's a memoir, a study of grief, a story about a woman setting herself a challenge and struggling through to complete it.
And it achieves this. Cheryl's mum dies young, unexpectedly and in a rather difficult and painful way. Her daughter's life, family and outlook is immediately shattered, and only after going off the rails somewhat does Cheryl see a way to try to move forward, try to put her grief into perspective and keep living. She decides to walk the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) that stretches through a good proprtion of America, solo and with little money. Just a giant backpack full of supplies that soon gets nicknamed Monster, and that strong men even have trouble lifting off the ground, let alone Cheryl.
And so begins her rather epic few months on the PCT, alone with her thoughts (and a few books), occasionally meeting other hikers, and narrating for us her thoughts and experiences. It's a slow-moving book, with glimpses at Cheryl's past, her mother's death and what happened after that. She's honest about it, and her pain is hard to ignore - life just isn't fair.
I did find this hard going at times, as it is a fairly slow read, but I did pick up the pace halfway through. I found the concept of the hiking exhausting but was totally in awe of her determination and grit. And the luck she had, with so many people helping her and offering their assistance - my belief in the generous nature of people did get a bolster.
I could also relate to the need for solitude, time to think and the desire to test yourself.
A very engaging and empathic novel overall, one I now look forward to seeing on the screen.
With little experience as a long-distance hiker and the trail little more than an idea, "vague and outlandish and full of promise" she pieces back together a life that had come undone.
Her challenges included carrying a pack that weighed more than half her weight, blistered feet and loss of toenails, embarrassment about being broke, enduring extreme hunger, thirst, heat and cold and hiking on a narrow ridge in deep snow. ( She had to skip over four hundred miles as the trail was impassable because of the record snow.)
Cheryl laughed when her trail friends ("Three Young Bucks") named her "The Queen of the PCT" because people always wanted to give her things and did not do anything for them. She realized then, except for two creepy experiences, the world had opened their arms to her at every turn.
Sitting near the "Bridge of Gods" at the end of her hike she mused about all the trail had taught her and everything she couldn't yet know; that in four years she'd cross this bridge with another man and marry him and they would have a son and daughter.
Told with wit and wisdom Cheryl's book "Wild" is an unforgettable, inspiring story about her early life's challenges, her adventures and misadventures and the incredible beauty and spirit of the American West.
Her extraordinary story and writing is so poetic and vivid I laughed and cried and could not put the book down.
Cheryl decides after the death of her mother to do the PCT and takes it on as I think a way of making sense of the world around her. The death of her mother is covered in detail, the fact that although she and her sibblings got on with their step dad things soon started to fall apart after her mum died. The family were drifting away and there was nothing Cheryl could do to stop it . I was shocked how they dealt with Lady her mothers beloved horse.. That stayed with me for a while .
I didnt realise when you did these walks that you can send parcels on ahead with things you will need or as a back up . Cheryl was depending on these to see her through, Sometimes they had arrived and sometimes not but as things were bad enough with painful feet, aching muscles and no spare clothes having to worry about money just added to the mix. Many a time she was down to her last few cents and it was with the kindness of strangers that she survived . The graphic details of her of her toe nails turning black and falling off was gruesome, she actually pulled a couple off herself, Yuck ! The utter dispair as when she sits down to rest and takes her boots off one of them tumbles over the rocks far below. I would have sobbed, what did Cheryl do ? She threw the other down after it , as one boot was no use at all !
The characters she met on the trail, some of whom over took her on the trial, many helped her felt like old friends in the end . I was overwhelmed when I finished this book . Im so glad I read it .
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I really enjoyed this - the descriptions of the natural surroundings are good and the emotional growth of Cheryl during the journey is also satisfying. Read morePublished 20 hours ago by Mrs. A. L. Kew
One of the best books I have ever read. So inspiring. This book will surely make you want to hike PCT! (or not)Published 3 days ago by Dan
I could have given this book 1 star. Then again I could have given it 5 stars. It is a mixture of on the trail ( The PCT), and then the other aspect, the emotional side of her... Read morePublished 13 days ago by Ranger
I didn't think this book would hold my interest, it's not the sort of thing I would normally choose but a friend recommended it. Read morePublished 17 days ago by Amazon Customer
Found this a bit hard to start with but stuck with it and liked it, at some level I think we all want to do something like this but never take the plunge.Published 22 days ago by Texas Jenni
Great book, really enjoyed this, the words make you feel like you actually walking the trail, you should always follow your dreams....Published 23 days ago by Amanda Quinn
..... Really tedious & dull. Wish I hadn't started it ..... Utter rubbish - would rather have spent my time watching paint dryPublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer